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Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurobiological brain difference—which means it is a neurodevelopmental condition—where tics are a symptom. Tourette Syndrome occurs when a child has had both movement and vocal tics for more than a year.
No. Tics, by definition, are involuntary. Some children and teens may have some control over their tics, but not 24/7. And saying “stop!” or providing rewards and consequences will not be effective either. In fact, the more people talk about tics or point them out, the more likely the tics will get worse! Treating tics requires a highly specialized treatment plan. It also requires a therapist with highly specialized training in treating tics. A clinician who does more general forms of therapy will not be effective when it comes to reducing tics that are stressful for your child or teen.
No. In people with persistent tics, there is a very high chance (86%!) that other difficulties are present, too. These added challenges can include ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and self-regulation difficulties that can affect actions and behaviours. Often, these coexisting conditions can cause more difficulties for people with Tic Disorders than the tics themselves! If treatment is only focused on tics, other concerns could be missed and get worse over time. Early diagnosis and treatment are key!
Yes. Treating Tourette Syndrome is complicated, and any coexisting condition requires scientifically-supported treatments as well! There are many therapies and medication options out there, some have scientific support and others do not. How do you know what is right for your child? How do you know what is going to make real change happen? We will devise a Treatment Plan that helps your child achieve bigger goals and better outcomes.